Museums Collectors United Kingdom

Cass family's gift to UK museums is worth £4m

More than 300 Modern and contemporary works to go to seven institutions, all outside London

Eric and Jean Cass (Photo: Dana Lazarus Cass)

The collectors Eric and Jean Cass have donated more than 300 works of Modern and contemporary art, valued at £4m, to the Contemporary Art Society to be allocated to seven UK institutions outside London.

The Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, the Hepworth Wakefield, Leeds Art Gallery, the National Museum Cardiff, Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton, will each receive clusters of works tailored to complement their own collections. The institutions were all invited to research the Cass collection and submit requests for specific works.

Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art will receive a sizeable number of works by Niki de Saint Phalle, which will go on display from 15 November (until October 2013). The Hepworth Wakefield has been given a number of works, including Barbara Hepworth’s Totem, 1960-62, which is valued at £1.2m. A pair of works by Michael Craig-Martin—Dolly, 1983, valued at £50,000, and Glasses, 1987, valued at £30,000—will go to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

The collection was previously housed in Eric and Jean Cass’s large Modernist home (and garden) in Surrey, just outside London. It was put together by the couple over a period of 40 years, and includes sculptures, ceramics, drawings, prints and paintings by artists such as Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi, Pablo Picasso and Victor Pasmore. The collectors were adamant that the works should be placed in museums across the country, which often struggle to compete with the London-based institutions favoured by many philanthropists.

Barbara Hepworth, Totem, 1960-62, gifted to the Hepworth Wakefield
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